Diffusion Filters


Diffusion

An example of a photograph of a person taken using a diffusion filter. A diffusion filter (also called a softening filter) softens subjects and generates a dreamy haze (see photon diffusion). This is most often used for portraits. However, this also has the effect of reducing contrast, and the filters are designed, labeled, sold, and used for that purpose too. There are many ways of accomplishing this effect, and As a result filters from different manufacturers vary significantly. The two primary approaches are to use some form of grid or netting in the filter, or to use something which is transparent but not optically sharp.

Both effects can be achieved in software, which can provide a very precise degree of control of the level of effect, however the "look" may be noticeably different. Additionally, if there is too much contrast in a scene, the dynamic range of the digital image sensor or film may be exceeded, which post-processing cannot compensate for, so contrast reduction at the time of image capture may be called for.

Transparent diffusion

Zeiss manufactures a widely noted Softar diffusion filter which is made of many tiny globs of acrylic deposited on one surface which act as microlenses to diffuse the light. In some versions the globs are on the inside of the filter (facing the photographer) while on others they face outwards (towards the subject). In various versions the globs vary in number and diameter, from approximately 97 to 150 globs each 1 mm to 3 mm wide.

Homebrew approaches to transparent diffusion filters are generally based on modifying a clear or UV filter by placing various materials on it; the most popular choices are petroleum jelly, optical cement, and nail polish. Transparent filters are more commonly used for the "dreamy" or "misty" effect than for contrast reduction.

The Cokin Color Diffuser filter consists of two pieces of different colored acetate foils. These foils measure 25 x 25cm each and can be cut to fit the Cokin filter holder. Diffusion is created by the resulting reflections from the colored crinkled foils. These acetates can be made into center spot filters by cutting a hole in the middle. The size of the hole will determine the intensity of the diffusion effect. The object photographed will appear to be surrounded by many colors blending into each other.
Cokin Colored Diffusers
Color Diffuser 082

Color Diffuser Ref. 082.

Set of two metallized films with different and variable colors to create a romantic diffusion. The more the filter is «wrinkled», the more intense is the diffusion. To use with a COKIN Gelatine-holder (ref.194, not included). Sizes available • A Series • P Series  

Cold Color Diffuser 088

Cold Color Diffuser Ref. 088

Controls bright lights, and surrounds your subjects with a soft and gentle atmosphere. Lends your pictures those blue tones beneficial to portraits and still-life work. Sizes available • A Series • P Series

Cold Color Diffuser 089

Cold Color Diffuser Ref. 089.

Controls bright lights, and surrounds your subjects with a soft and gentle atmosphere. Lends your pictures orange tones. Sizes available • A Series • P Series •

Sunsoft 694

Sunsoft Ref. 694. Diffuser filter combined with a strong warm-up effect similar to suntan. Ideal for professional Portrait Sizes available A SeriesP SeriesZ-Pro SeriesX-Pro Series  •

Champagne 695

Champagne Ref. 695

Diffuser filter combined with flesh dye. Sizes available A SeriesP Series

SoftWarm 696

SoftWarm Ref. 696. Mixing of warm tone 027 and light diffuser 820. Great for portrait as it corrects the small defects of the skin. The diffusion effect is subbtle so that you don’t realize a filter was used. Sizes available A SeriesP SeriesZ-Pro SeriesX-Pro Series

Cokin Diffuser and Pastel filters bring a gentle and romantic atmosphere to your photos. They allow a more gentle and subtle interpretation of your subjects, far removed from aggressive lighting, bright color and the opposition of contrasts. The effect of Diffuser and Pastel filters may be described as follows: softens, controls, diminishes, blurs, filters....
Cokin Colorless Diffusers
Diffuser Light 820

Diffuser Light Ref. 820

The lightest diffuser. Improves the skin grain without showing the use of filter. For professional use. Sizes available A SeriesP SeriesZ-Pro SeriesX-Pro Series.

Diffuser 1 830

Diffuser 1 Ref. 830. Diffuses strong light without affecting the clarity of the image up to about 135 mm focal length and eliminates small skin defects. Ideal for portrait and still-life work. Sizes available A SeriesP SeriesZ-Pro SeriesX-Pro Series

Diffuser 2 840

Diffuser 2 Ref. 840

More accentuated effect than 830. Sizes available A SeriesP SeriesZ-Pro SeriesX-Pro Series.

 

Diffuser 3 850

Diffuser 3 Ref. 850

Strong diffusion effect. Ideal for nude photography and romantic shots.• Sizes available A SeriesP SeriesZ-Pro Series X-Pro Series 

Cokin Pastels
Pastel 1 086

Pastel 1 Ref. 086. Softens the image by applying a white dream touch. Gives a nice romantic atmosphere which enhances the photograph. Great for shooting people in outdoor scenery - density 1 Sizes available A SeriesZ-Pro SeriesX-Pro Series 

Pastel 2 087 

Pastel 2 Ref. 087.  Softens the image by applying a white dream touch. Gives a nice romantic atmosphere which enhances the photograph. Great for shooting people in outdoor scenery - density 2 Sizes available • A Series • P Series • Z-Pro Series • X-Pro Series •

BLACK DIFFUSION/FX® - A unique optical construction that produces the most advanced diffuser effect ever developed by Tiffen. Creates a soft focus look that is hard to detect that a filter was even utilized. Unsurpassed features for people images in suppressing facial blemishes and wrinkles, while maintaining a dear, focused image. Gives a silky-smooth look to textured surfaces. Eliminates unwanted details without achieving a "dull" or "fuzzy" look. Slightly subdues highlights while producing only a bare minimum of light flare. The Black Diffusion FX offers a "Very Subtle" softening look even at its greatest #5 density. The lighter densities are often utilized to obtain the "Film Look" in video. Available in densities 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 1-5. Light Loss: 1/3 f:stop

GOLD DIFFUSION FX® - Combines all of the subtle soft focus qualities of the Black Diffusion FX filter while adding a special golden warmth to the scene. Neutral colors appear to be minimally affected, while cool colors and skin tones are slightly warmed and softened. The degree of warmth remains constant throughout all of the densities. Available in densities 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 1-5. Light Loss: 1/3f:stop 

SOFT FX® - Has a pattern of tiny lenslets designed specifically to put fine image elements, like wrinkles and skin blemishes, out of focus while leaving larger details such as eyes, sharp. Lighter densities are very subtle. Offers virtually no reduction in contrast. Produces some degree of flare depending on the lighting condition. Compared to the Black Diffusion FX, the Soft FX offers a greater softening effect and a higher degree of halation. Available in densities 1/2, 1-5. Light Loss: 0 f:stop.

WARM SOFT FX® - Combination filter containing a Soft FX effect combined with a Warm 812. Produces a warm soft focus look that is ideal in rendering healthy appearing skin tones. Different from a Gold Diffusion FX in that the softening effect is not as subtle and the added warming effect offers a slightly reddish tone as compared the Gold DFX's golden tone. The degree of warmth remains constant throughout all of the densities. Available in densities 1/2, 1-5. (A Warm Soft FX effect can be achieved by combining a neutral Soft FX filter "stacked" with a Warm 812 filter.) Light Loss: 1/3 f:stop.

Glimmerglass™ - First series of filters with a “psychological edge”. Softens fine details in a unique manner while adding a mild glow to highlights. As contrast is also reduced, the look is one of enhanced beauty. Glass has a distinct “sparkle” that makes people feel more confident in the knowledge that the filter is working for them and they may also turn in a better performance. Available in grades 1-5.